We had a great time attending the annual TIA conference in Phoenix! The TIA always offers a well-balanced mix of insights from the past, solutions for the present, and perspectives for the future. And to top it off, there were some fantastic networking events where we got to connect with customers and other wonderful folks from the industry (thanks DAT for hosting a great one)! 


We’ve summarized some of our key learnings from our peers, speeches, and panel discussions:

1. Navigating Transportation Fraud: Building Trust Amidst Industry Challenges

Everyone can agree that the biggest theme was fraud and theft in transportation. It’s a broad topic, and it is enlightening how widespread it is - from double brokering to identity theft and cargo theft. 

JB Hunt's "Strategic Cargo Theft Trends and Solutions" presentation really hit home, breaking down the types of theft and who's on the hook for it. What's eye-opening is how messy it gets with different jurisdictions and how much that increases the challenges in policing. For brokers, this isn't just some abstract issue; it's a constant battle to stay ahead of the game and protect their clients and their own bottom line. The real takeaway is that this is something each company needs to deal with in-house, privately, because the government just can’t keep up. 

With the Internet of Things making fraud exponentially more complex, one suggestion we can provide is to make sure your team fosters tight relationships with reliable carriers. In this industry, margins are always tight, but as we all know, cheaper isn’t always better. Having a line of sight to trustworthy carriers is important not only for brokers but also for their customers. 

The key takeaway - Fraud and theft must be addressed internally as regulations struggle to keep up.

Our good friend Jordan Graft, Founder and CEO of Highway, sits down with our Co-Founder Justin Bailie to talk about one way of combating fraud through carrier identity:

We’ll be releasing a podcast episode soon on fraud in the transportation industry, if you’d like to check out any of our other podcasts on hot topics, click here. 

2. Strategic M&A’s in 2024: Unlocking Growth Through Diversification

M&A’s are starting to trend upwards again for 2024 and beyond, as freight rates stabilize and businesses get steadier. This means sellers and buyers are more likely to agree on prices, making deals easier.

However it appears companies are taking a more careful approach to their M&A tactics. Instead of growing larger, they are looking to diversify their offerings through acquisitions. They've learned from tough times that they need to be ready for ups and downs in the market, and this means increasing their flexibility. Being able to service your customers' variety of needs not only solidifies their loyalty but also increases their spend. 

Something important to consider in an M&A is systems consolidation. Many of our customers are looking to solve this very problem when they realize they can’t run their day to day operations on scattered software. Certainly, they can’t make business decisions without a centralized database. 

The key takeaway - M&A’s offer new challenges as companies look to tap into new markets.  

If you are interested in learning more about navigating the complexities of M&A’s, this episode of Freight Famous may be for you: 

3. Supply Chain Evolution: Nearshoring Trends and Mexico's Growth

Supply chains are ever-evolving, creating new opportunities for all players in the market. There appears to be a significant shift towards nearshoring and regionalization. What does this mean? It's about bringing production and manufacturing closer to home rather than relying solely on distant locations like China. This shift is opening up a massive opportunity for brokers and carriers in the freight industry.

Mexico, in particular, continues to emerge as a hotspot for investment and growth in the manufacturing and logistics network. In just the first quarter of the year, Mexico has already attracted a whopping $38 billion in direct foreign investment, and experts predict this number could exceed $100 billion by the end of the year. This surge in investment is a clear indicator of Mexico's potential as a key player in the evolving supply chain landscape.

The key takeaway - US’s southern border is expected to boom with business for brokers and carriers.

With supply chains shifting towards Mexico, it’s important to take a look at the flexibility of your business and software to meet new requirements if you’re considering growth in this area. One of the ways Rose Rocket supports cross border businesses is by offering our Driver Mobile Application in Spanish. If you’d like to learn more about our driver mobile app, click here. 

4. New Technology: It Continues to be What Your Customers Want!

Another topic that continues to be discussed year after year, is how logistics companies need to embrace technology… for their customers. Using technology to improve your operations is now the norm, but thinking about how the technology you use impacts your customers is a crucial recurring priority. Customers are looking to work with companies that provide them an exceptional level of communication and visibility; often referred to as the “Amazon” standard. 

This means that brokers should continue to consider tools like e-tracking links, customer portals, automated status updates, and real time ETA’s. With competition so high - shippers will opt to work with a broker that can provide these services. If you’re committed to a “personal touch” with manual replies to track and trace emails and phone calls, you might want to reconsider. 

The key takeaway - shippers continue to look for visibility solutions that new tech can offer.

Rose Rocket has always been committed to offering best-in-class customer visibility tools. Not only are we passionate about making them extremely user-friendly for your customers, but we also offer customization tools - so you can service each customer in your own way.

If you’d like more detailed information on how to solve the visibility challenge, here’s a helpful e-book:

5. From Talk to Implementation: Bridging the Gap in AI Utilization

Another interesting topic that was discussed at the TIA and has been circulating for some time now is the importance of harnessing the power of AI. It feels like there are a lot of speeches talking about how important AI will be for the future, and how it’s crucial to consider utilizing AI to get a leg up on the competition, but without any tangible recommendations on where to start.

That was a big topic of discussion during the conference. Brokers are open to AI solutions and want to start utilizing AI capabilities, but they are weary of how it can be used for day-to-day operations. 

There are many ways to harness the power of AI, and more will emerge in the future. At Rose Rocket, we believe one of the best ways to do so is by using AI to replace data entry. Data entry is often the most time-consuming part of many employees' workday, and their time can be better spent focusing on high-value tasks. 

The key takeaway - Appetite for AI is there, but buyers are unsure where to start. 

Rose Rocket has a DataBot that automatically converts data (from PDF, email, scans, etc) into live data in your system of record. To learn more about this powerful AI tool, book a meeting with us!

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